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Child Safety: Guns and Firearms

Overview

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to avoid keeping guns and firearms in the home or car. If this isn't possible, guns and firearms should be kept away from children.footnote 1, footnote 2

Small children, even some 1-year-olds, are able to pull the trigger on a gun. And older children or adults can mishandle guns or firearms and injure others. Guns need to be stored:

  • Unloaded.
  • Locked in a secure location, with the keys hidden.
  • With the safety device on.
  • Separate from ammunition. It's also important to lock up the ammunition.

Talk with your children about gun safety. Be sure that they know to stay away from guns in a friend's home or elsewhere and to tell you if they see or find a gun.

Talk with the parents of your children's friends. Find out if they have guns in their homes. If they do, ask that they keep them unloaded, locked up, and out of children's reach.

References

Citations

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (2012). Gun safety: Keeping children safe. The Injury Prevention Program (TIPP). Available online: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/Gun-Safety-Keeping-Children-Safe.aspx.
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics (accessed August 2012). Handguns in the home. Available online: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/Handguns-in-the-Home.aspx.

Credits

Current as of: September 20, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine